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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 48

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
   in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
   is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
   the city of the great King.
Within its citadels God
   has shown himself a sure defense.

Then the kings assembled,
   they came on together.
As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
   they were in panic, they took to flight;
trembling took hold of them there,
   pains as of a woman in labour,
as when an east wind shatters
   the ships of Tarshish.
As we have heard, so have we seen
   in the city of the Lord of hosts,
in the city of our God,
   which God establishes forever.

We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
   in the midst of your temple.
Your name, O God, like your praise,
   reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with victory.
   Let Mount Zion be glad,
let the towns of Judah rejoice
   because of your judgements.

Walk about Zion, go all around it,
   count its towers,
consider well its ramparts;
   go through its citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
   that this is God,
our God for ever and ever.
   He will be our guide forever. (NRSV)

O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us,
to keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
of this world in the next.

(From “Now Thank We All Our God” by Martin Rinkhart)

Today’s reading reminds me of so many of the hymns of praise that we sing during worship on Sunday mornings (particularly “Now Thank We All Our God”) and the comfort that both the melody and text bring to me.

This psalm reminds us of God’s ever-presence with each and every one of us. We will have both happy and trying times throughout our lives, and God is with us during all of these moments. Towards the middle of the passage, the psalmist writes of some trying times. We often reach out to God during our difficult times, asking for guidance, support, or answers. God is there to help us navigate through our troubles—God’s love will not let us go. The unfailing love and grace of our Lord is with us at all times, leading us through the pain and heartache, bringing us to a better place.

Gracious and loving God, help me to both understand and remember that your grace is at work in me. As I experience both joys and tough times in my daily life, help me to feel your love and presence. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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